PEOPLE: Dr Pamela Hartigan

Tribute: Dr Pamela Hartigan

Dr Pamela Hartigan, who has died at the age of 68, was a leading proponent of social entrepreneurship as a means of achieving social progress. She advocated that progress could be achieved through a variety of organisations: social enterprises, mainstream businesses and other organisations. Dr Hartigan inspired others as a writer, teacher, mentor, collaborator and leader.

Dr Hartigan joined Saïd Business School in 2009 as the Director of the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship, where she dramatically increased the number and quality of activities aimed at supporting students and the broader ecosystem of social entrepreneurs.

As Director of the Skoll Centre, Dr Hartigan taught a range of MBA elective courses and was part of the core teaching team for the MBA Entrepreneurship Project course. She gave lectures and designed programmes on social innovation and leadership for students across the University of Oxford and beyond.

Dr Hartigan's work extended beyond the classroom. She pioneered the Small Research Grants Programme within the Skoll Centre, providing funding and support to early career academics working on research into social and environmental challenges.

While at Oxford Saïd, Dr Hartigan founded Emerge, one of the UK's leading initiatives to inspire and develop the next generation of leaders in social innovation. This year's Emerge Conference, on 12-13 November, will be dedicated to her work.

Before joining the Skoll Centre, Dr Hartigan was the first Managing Director of the Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship. In 2008, she co-founded Volans with John Elkington, an organisation focused on scaling entrepreneurial solutions to the world's biggest problems.

She was an adviser to many social enterprises and held leadership positions in multilateral health organisations and educational institutions, as well as entrepreneurial non-profits. Her book, co-authored with John Elkington, entitled The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets that Change the World, was published by Harvard Business Press in 2008. The publication is a core reference book relating to social entrepreneurship and has been translated into 11 languages.

Dr Hartigan had a PhD in Human Developmental Psychology from the Catholic University, Washington DC, an MA in Education from American University, Washington DC, an MA in International Economics from Institut d'Etudes Européennes, Université Libre de Bruxelles and a Bachelor of Science and International Economics from the School of Foreign Service, Georgetown University, Washington DC.

Born of diplomatic parents and brought up in Latin America, Dr Hartigan described herself as an optimist and saw opportunities in the current state of global flux. She disliked the narrow use of the term "social entrepreneur," insisting that all businesses should take responsibility for their social, environmental and governance impacts: 'I dream of the world where every entrepreneur has to be a social entrepreneur, because we cannot continue the kind of path we're on unless that actually happens.'

Paying tribute to Dr Hartigan, Professor Peter Tufano, Peter Moores Dean and Professor of Finance at Saïd Business School, said: 'Pamela had a vision of social progress through social entrepreneurship and she advanced this ideal tirelessly and effectively. She will be deeply missed, and we must continue her work.'

She is survived by her husband, Martin, and by their children, Emilie and Jesse.